At JuWinHPC we firmly believe in inclusion. This might sound obvious, or at least in my head it sounded obvious, but after reflecting a bit it might not be that obvious. After all, our name is Jülich Women in High Performance Computing.

Being part of a group with the term „women“ (or „female“) in its name still nowadays, unbelievingly (at least to me), sparks polarized and heated discussions. The „notall“ and „whatabout“ comments come into play. I find similarly disconcerting and scary as hell (at least to me) the kind of reactions the use of the Progress Flag can stir in a forum. However, these are perhaps topics for another blog post…

So what is JuWinHPC about? Let me be unequivocally clear about what it is not about—it’s not a battle of women against men.

It is, as already mentioned, and risking being very obtuse and repetitive, about inclusion. That‘s it, this is truly what this group is about, we don’t want to let anyone left behind.

Inclusion creates a stronger community. Our organization is working for more equality, diversity and inclusion in the HPC community. While founding our initiative we focused on women, as we recognized how few of us are present in this community (and since we aimed to become the first German chapter of the international Women in HPC organisation). The question arises—why is this the case? The goal is to better understand the reasons behind inequalities and to promote a stronger local community. As some of us point out in our bios, we would have wished to have female role models to look up to from the very beginning, when we started and had little to no idea of where we were going and what we wanted.

And we got the idea, hey, all this might not be obvious for the ones outside JuWinHPC, why don’t ask for example our male colleagues around what do they think about us?

So with this in mind, we are organizing our next JuWinHPC General Meeting with the aim to listen to each other (over muffins and coffee, which always sweetens the deal). We want to have a productive and inclusive discussion, we want to understand different perspectives, address concerns, and foster a supportive work environment. Furthermore, how can we actively contribute to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone?

What we’d like to hear from our male colleagues is for example:

  • What do you think of our group?
  • Do you think it is necessary or helpful?
  • Do you think men can also benefit from it? What role do you see for male colleagues in supporting the goals of JuWinHPC?
  • How can we ensure that everyone in the organization understands the importance and purpose of this network?
  • Have you ever felt the need for a similar network or support group? Why or why not?
  • Do you think that we are focusing too much on women when trying to strengthen diversity? Are there wishes to promote other minorities?
  • Do you feel welcome to join the initiative? If not, what can we do to change that?

We’ll be gathering on Friday, September 8th, 2023, at 9:00 in the meeting room 1 of JSC. We extend an invitation to join us and help spread the word.

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About Cristina Manzano

Cristina Manzano is a telecommunications engineer working in JSC since 2009. She partipated developing the long term archive for the radio astronomy community LOFAR and continues working on said archive as well as in other distributed data and parallel file system projects. Mother-of-two, she doesn't find easy to juggle motherhood and work and hobbies and friendship and… she needs sometimes to remind herself to just breath.

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